The Joker and Batman have always been two sides of the same coin, with their relationship often portrayed as a never-ending cycle of violence. But with the release of Todd Phillips’ Joker in 2019, fans have been wondering whether the movie is a prequel to the Batman story.
Is Joker a Prequel to the Batman?
The short answer is no. Joker is not a prequel to the Batman story, nor is it part of the DC Extended Universe (DCEU) that includes movies like Man of Steel, Wonder Woman, and Justice League.
Instead, Joker stands on its own as a standalone origin story for one of the most iconic villains in comic book history. The movie explores how Arthur Fleck, a failed stand-up comedian, becomes the Joker – an agent of chaos who inspires others to join him in his rebellion against society.
The Connections to Batman
While Joker may not be a prequel to the Batman story, it does contain several references to Bruce Wayne’s alter ego. For example:
- Thomas Wayne: In Joker, Thomas Wayne is portrayed as a wealthy businessman running for mayor of Gotham City. He’s also portrayed as an antagonist who looks down on those less fortunate than him – including Arthur Fleck. This portrayal of Thomas Wayne differs from previous depictions in which he’s shown as a philanthropist who cares deeply about Gotham City.
- The Wayne Murders: The murder of Bruce Wayne’s parents is referenced several times throughout Joker.
In fact, one pivotal scene takes place outside a movie theater where the Waynes are killed.
- Bruce Wayne: While Bruce Wayne doesn’t appear in Joker until the very end of the movie – and then only briefly – his presence looms large throughout the story. Arthur Fleck is shown admiring Wayne’s parents and even interacts with the young Bruce Wayne in one scene. This interaction sets up the possibility of a future confrontation between Batman and Joker.
The Future of Batman and Joker
While Joker may not be a prequel to the Batman story, it does open up new possibilities for future movies featuring these two iconic characters. For example, a movie could explore how Bruce Wayne becomes Batman and how he first crosses paths with the Joker.
Additionally, a sequel to Joker could explore what happens after Arthur Fleck becomes the Clown Prince of Crime. Does he continue to wreak havoc on Gotham City?
Does he face off against Batman? These are questions that could be answered in future movies.
In conclusion, while Joker may contain several references to the Batman story, it is not a prequel to that story. Instead, it stands on its own as a standalone origin story for one of comic book history’s most iconic villains. However, its success has opened up new possibilities for future movies featuring these two characters – possibilities that fans are eagerly anticipating.